1) Plant a tree
2) Hug a tree
3) Read to a tree
4) Pick up trash on the roadside
5) Donate to the Apachamama Alliance and help preserve the Amazon
6) Stand in the grass and express gratitude for Mother Earth
7) Sprout organic alfalfa seeds in a mason jar on my windowsill
8) Hike a mountain
9) Build a compost bin
10) Prepare an organic, dairy free meal
11) Ride my bike to town
12) Create a simple recycling system for someone that doesn't know how
13) Weave a rug out of old t-shirts
14) Disassemble my car as performance art representing divestment from fossil fuels
15) Use reusable containers to buy bulk food
16) Plant seeds in a greenhouse
17) Read Joel Salatin's book Everything I Want to Do is Illegal
18) Vow to practice No Meat Monday (and Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. Maybe the weekends, too.)
19) Sew an apron out of vegetable printed dish towels
20) Polar Plunge into the ocean to raise awareness about the disappearing polar ice caps and displaced polar bears
21) Wish people at the landfill a "Happy Earth Day!"
22) Volunteer with GreenPeace
23) Make bee watering stations
24) Have a one person parade passionately singing the Recycle Song from Rocco's Modern Life to unsuspecting pedestrians.
25) Donate to the Sierra Club
26) Assemble footwear out of existing footwear
27) Have a conversation about animal husbandry and reference A Carnivore's Credo
28) Give away all of my belongings and join a commune committed to recycling
29) Read this poem that I wrote last year aloud in the park, accompanied by a bongo and a handful of environmental activists
Rivers run dry
Forests mowed over
With oil fueled bulldozers
Fattened, slaughtered, eaten
Factories spew waste
Our carbon footprint deepens
Polar bears sent swimming
Rhinos hunted for horns
The whole world is warming
Our ecosystem is torn
Plastic ingested by sea birds
North Pacific Garbage Patched
This level of environmental chaos
That the corporate mind hatched
Disease in our livestock
Round-Up resistant insects
"Eat our GMO products!"
All for billionaire interests
Solar panels taken down
It's illegal to collect rainwater
Their bottom line might drown
Pollination is thwarted
No more bees, no more honey
I wonder if the suits realize
"That they can't eat their money"
Pipelines prone to spills
Tar sand oil stains the white collars
But they'll just buy a new shirt
Keystone XL is a promise: more dollars
You can ignore that this is the reality
Remain silent and complacent
Scroll past the articles on Facebook
While you quietly store food in your basement
Stay in the dark shadows of fear
Let them think that they're right
Or open your mouth
Turn on the light
30) Make people think about what they're going to do on Earth Day
My brother is the Star Trek fan. I am the bystander in denial about her interest in the plot. No, I will not watch 6 hours of The Next Generation with you on a rainy Tuesday. We will not dramatically quote Patrick Stewart while we dance around the kitchen in between episodes making Breakfast Nachos. No.
The aspect of life in stardate 43125.8 that has me longing for a fictional world is that their society has evolved to meet the basic needs of its members whereas ours sadly has not. What would life be like if every person went to sleep knowing they would wake up in a comfortable bed, be given adequate meals, be clothed, protected, and allowed the opportunity to explore and express who they really are?
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, right? If our physiological and safety needs are met we are free to explore the higher levels of love/belonging, esteem, and ultimately self-actualization. Because your baseline includes health, safety, and security (I mean, aside from being under constant threat by alien warfare) you are free to invest your time enriching your life with genuine relationships, personal achievements, and creativity.
I think often about this idealistic way of life because we currently possess the means to do exactly this yet as a global society choose not to. I believe that so long as financial and material gain are the primary objectives we will not ever reach a place where this is even a shadow of a possibility. We live in a society where the value of a human is assigned based on where on a map they live and the profitability of their days worth of underpaid work.
So yeah, sign me up. I'll even wear the Starfleet uniform.
Just not the red one.